Adult vaccinations stay low in U.S.

It's understandable that kids don't like getting shots, but you would think that the grown-ups know what's good for them. Not so, perhaps--a recent report from the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), shows that the grown-ups in the U.S. still aren't getting their vaccinations. Based on a survey looking at pneumococcal, herpes zoster and hepatitis B vaccinations in 2010, many adults had not had one or more recommended vaccines, and the levels of vaccinations haven't met the targets. There had not been much progress since 2009, according to the CDC. If a large percentage of the population is naturally immune to a disease or is vaccinated, levels of disease are kept low--this is known as community immunity or herd immunity. The levels of immunity needed to maintain this vary, but must be around 80% to 95%. While not everyone needs to be vaccinated against everything--for some diseases such as influenza, generally only vulnerable people need the shot--maintaining vaccination levels in target groups are vital to keep everyone protected. The recommended adult immunization schedule for the U.S. from the CDC is now available. Article | Report | Adult immunization schedule